The Real Housewives Of Atlanta Returns Oct. 4th
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The Real Housewives Of Orange County Returns Jan.'11

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Too Much Salahi Coverage? Interview With The District Dish

Article from the Washington Post.

By Andrew Alexander
The Salahis. Had enough?

Anne Martin of McLean has. She's one of many readers who complained recently after The Post offered still more coverage of Tareq and Michaele Salahi, the White House dinner crashers who have become famous for trying to become famous.

"Enough with the Salahis!" Martin protested. "I am tired of The Post's continuing efforts to give this couple exactly what it wants: publicity."

The day Martin wrote, the cover of the Style section was dominated by a large color photo of Michaele Salahi above two columns written about her selection for Bravo's "Real Housewives of D.C." reality TV show. There was another photo of her inside Style. And all this coverage was teased on The Post's front page, which ran a color photo of the controversial couple.

"If I see one more photo/story/snippet about them, I will cancel the Post subscription I've had since 1978," Martin warned.

Brace yourself. More is on the way.

There will be coverage when "Housewives" debuts Aug 5. And more will grow out of various investigations. A federal grand jury is exploring the White House security breach. The U.S. Agriculture Department is examining Tareq Salahi's receipt of a grant to study the impact of Virginia winery tourism. Virginia officials are investigating fundraising activities of the couple's America's Polo Cup event.

Since the Salahis' White House exploits generated headlines seven months ago, they have been written about in more than 110 Post stories or columns. The coverage totals more than 2,200 column inches, the length of a novel. There have been scores of photos. All told, more than 30 reporters and researchers have contributed.

In addition to believing The Post is feeding the Salahis' hunger for publicity, some feel the coverage has lowered the paper's standards. District reader Ronnie Kweller e-mailed that it caters to "lowbrow taste." In a later phone conversation, she said The Post "should try to elevate the interest and concerns and the awareness of readers, not just give them all this gossip crap."

There have been serious aspects to the coverage, of course. The breach of presidential security, first reported by The Post's Reliable Source column author Roxanne Roberts, resulted in congressional hearings and criminal inquiries. And Post stories late last year revealed the Salahis have left a troubling trail of fractured business relationships, lawsuits and unpaid bills.

But at its core, reader interest centers on the unique audaciousness and astonishing self-absorption of the Salahis. Many object to continuing coverage because they find the couple detestable, especially the Salahis' moth-to-flame craving for media attention. Many readers have told me they view the couple as villainous and some eagerly await the Salahis' comeuppance.

But many of those same readers harbor a what-will-they-do-next curiosity. They're eager for each new episode in what amounts to a serial drama. The Salahis don't disappoint. Journalistically, they're a gift that keeps giving.

"These people are characters," said Reliable Source author Amy Argetsinger, who often writes about them. "People enjoy reading about them, even if it's with an undercurrent of loathing.

"Of all the e-mails we get from people saying 'Stop writing about the Salahis,' I would say that we get slightly more from people who have said: 'Why haven't these people been arrested yet?' "

Ned Martel, an editor of the Style section, believes the Salahis fascinate readers because "they are a couple that says a lot of things about a lot of things . . . about society, about pop culture and reality television, about social climbing, about people who feel included or excluded, about falsity and overextension in terms of personal finance."

Their narrative also reflects a shift in celebritology, in which reality TV personalities increasingly compete with movie stars and pop artists. "It's part of a growing phenomenon," Martel said. And with the upcoming "Housewives" reality series set in Washington, he added, "we're devoting more attention to it."

Some coverage has struck me as excessive. Style's June 15 blowout, which drove reader Anne Martin to the brink of cancellation, seemed over the top. (Martel disagrees.) But mostly I've been comfortable with the Salahi coverage and presentation. Stories appearing in the A section deserved to be there. Items of passing interest were properly relegated to the Reliable Source.

The Post's news focus must always be on the weighty issues of the day, such as the continuing financial crisis, the gulf oil disaster or the fighting in Afghanistan.

But the Salahis offer an entertaining -- if often maddening -- break from the steady diet of grim and gloom that so often dominates The Post. There's a place for their "gossip crap."

The District Dish:

Caroline Manzo drops 20 pounds

Article from Entertainment Weekly about Caroline.

by:Emily Exton
Caroline Manzo of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is turning heads after recently losing 20 pounds. Despite the never ending Italian meals her family and friends seem to enjoy regularly, Manzo has taken control of her body through an emphasis on portion control. “I eat what I want. I just eat the bad things earlier on in the day,” she told People at the New York premiere of Grown Ups on Wednesday, before adding, “Don’t think pasta will never be a friend of me.” Okay, just kidding, she actually said this: “If I want pasta, I have it for lunch instead of for dinner. That’s all. If I want a piece of cheesecake, I have half instead of a whole.” Sounds easy enough, right? Manzo also attributes her new figure to 45 minutes to an hour of exercise at least 3 times a week, cutting out soda and juice from her diet, and drinking lots and lots of water. (I knew there was a catch).

Kudos to Caroline for making healthy changes (and just in time for the upcoming Housewives reunion special!?). But I can’t help but wonder, will this really put an end to the Manzo family “ham game”?

Kelly shooting for German television

Kelly tweet.

Shooting german tv

Kim Zolciak's take on Danielle singing

Article from In Touch online.

The Real Housewife of New Jersey Danielle Staub performed her first single Real Close on Bravo's Watch What Happen Next with lesbian musician Lori Michaels and In Touch is the first to have Kim Zolciak's reaction.

The Real Housewife of Atlanta beauty reveals to In Touch "I was quite surprised that she could sing and she sang great live. More power to her, I hope it does well." The Tardy For The Party hit maker isn't about to give up her spotlight though "I am working on the rest of my album and I feel blessed to have another cast member/friend helping me, Kandi Burruss is truly talented and I'm glad to have been the first housewife to start this trend of becoming a singer. I think they should have a new show called "Housewife Idol".

When asked about her reaction to Danielle getting cozy with her rumored girlfriend Lori Michael's during her performance Zolciak says "I hope that what they have, if they have anything is real, and that she isn't playing gay to get attention."

Kelly marching in GMHC/Whole Foods Market NY pride march

Blog post from IMG models about Kelly:

We are very proud of Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s announcement today to join the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and Whole Foods Market for the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 27 at 12 Noon.

“I am pleased to join these two leading NYC institutions that are committed to health and wellness,” said Bensimon. “As a mother of two daughters, I believe it is important to provide support for youth on making healthy choices related to their minds and bodies, particularly on the issue of HIV prevention.”

Jill hanging in the Hamptons

Picture from Jill's twitter.

"Smores anyone??"

Bethenny has not forgiven Jill

Small blurb from Absurd to Sublime.

The online edition is not available yet. This is from the print edition

In the June 28 issue of US Weekly (p. 11), Bethenny says of Jill:
“I think she had a whole plan for the season to have everyone hate me…It backfired, but I took a beating…If I didn’t have my own show, I would have dropped out.”

She goes on to say that she has not forgiven Jill, despite the hug.

Nene makes chocolate at Compartes in Brentwood

Nene at Compartes, her favorite were chocolate covered marshmallow/truffle

Bravo is not casting for Real Housewives Of Houston

Interview from Culture Map with Andy Cohen.

By Steven Thomson
The Bravolebrity himself, Andy Cohen is touching down in Space City to serve as the Celebrity Grand Marshal at Saturday's Pride Houston parade. The media mogul took a few minutes today to speak with CultureMap about his visit, his hit show — and all the Bayou City buzz over the producer jockeying for a Real Housewives of Houston.

CultureMap: Your serving as the Celebrity Grand Marshal of Pride Parade is a bit of a coup for Houston. How did this all come together?

Andy Cohen: They contacted me awhile ago — I'm gonna say it was sometime last winter. Summer was something distant in the future, that I couldn't even imagine happening. I asked around and heard Houston has a great event. The fact that it's at night — I thought it would be fun.

CM: Have you been to Houston before?

AC: My best friend's surrogate lived in Houston. I was there for less than a day to witness the birth.

CM: What is your impression of Houston? Do you have any expectations for the Parade?

AC: I expect it to be big, and fun, and hot, and just bold. Larger than life.

CM: Is this your first time marshaling a parade?

AC: This is my first. I've lived in New York for many years, where Gay Pride is so much fun. It's such an honor to come to Houston.

CM: Do you have any big surprises planned for tomorrow's parade?

AC: I'm gonna wing it. I'm just gonna have fun. I'm coming down with a friend — have a laugh, check it out.

CM: There's a lot of buzz in town about the potentiality of a Real Housewives of Houston. Is there truth behind the talk?

AC: It's not us. We love Houston, and we've done casting in Houston in the past, but we're not casting there right now. Maybe it's somebody who wants to do it.

CM: Your spontaneous Watch What Happens show is quite the hit here. What do you think makes it so addictive?

AC: I think it's fun, and that it's live. It's like a cocktail party, and it's inclusive. It's also a small show, sort of like Wayne's World, in which I'm doing a show from my den, but Jerry Seinfeld happens to be in my den, or Danielle, or Sarah Jessica Parker. I think it's a really specific sort of vibe — as unscripted as it could possibly be. The fact that it's so interactive is a draw.

Cohen told us that he plans on hitting the town after the parade — watch what happens

What the housewives of NJ think of Danielle's singing

Post from Us magazine about the Jersey girls.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Surprise, surprise: Danielle Staub's fellow Real Housewives of New Jersey are less than impressed with her vocal prowess.

Staub debuted her single "Real Close" on Monday's Watch What Happens Live -- singing the romantic ballad with singer-songwriter Lori Michaels.

"I mean, whatever," Caroline Manzo told at Thursday's My Big Gay Italian Wedding premiere in Brooklyn, New York. "Clearly she can carry a tune. Is she a singer? I'm not quite sure."

"It wasn't horrible," Jacqueline Laurita added. "It was very breathy. It wasn't a wide range. She was just singing really breathy in the microphone, so it's hard to hear the range of her voice."

"She skated past it," Manzo sniped. "She did what she had to do, and fine. But can she really sing? Let's belt one out."

Added Teresa Giudice: "It's not like she was really singing....Ask Simon from American Idol."

Staub's foes haven't exactly sworn off music careers of their own. "I don't know if I can sing. Maybe I should try it," Giudice says.

Manzo's suggestion: "Maybe we should do a country album or a rap song. Maybe the Spice Girls!"

"I think we should do like a rap song," Giudice continued, "and in the background I'll say 'prostitution whore, prostitution whore'! We could do it with Jay Z."

Recently-departed housewife Dina Manzo thinks her hairless cat should give singing a try. "Grandma Wrinkles is coming out with a single soon," she joked to Us at the event. "She's been in the recording studio for weeks."